Public Statement

Statement on Event Locations

The mission of AAC&U is to advance the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. We pursue this mission with and on behalf of higher education institutions of all types across the country—and, indeed, around the world. This vibrant institutional diversity also encompasses different political perspectives. As an inclusive association committed to the free exchange of ideas, we regard this diversity as a great strength. We advocate for liberal education because we believe that engagement with differences of opinion and viewpoint is essential not only to advancing knowledge but also to sustaining a diverse democracy.

Like all sectors of our society, higher education today must navigate a social and political landscape that is increasingly fraught with division and polarization and respond to challenges posed within a fast-changing legal and policy environment. AAC&U is not a policy-making or lobbying organization. Our institutional members rightly determine their own individual responses to state and federal policy within the context of their unique missions, priorities, and circumstances. We do, however, support our members in various ways as they grapple with these often-vexing issues. One way we do this is by hosting events around the country that serve as forums for the open discussion of pressing concerns and common challenges.

In selecting locations for AAC&U events, our goal is not to influence public policy but to promote engagement by ensuring that the locations reflect the geographical diversity of our membership. Moreover, event planning requires that locations be determined years in advance, making it exceedingly difficult to anticipate or respond to legal or policy developments in cities and states around the country. We are, however, committed to ensuring that AAC&U events serve as educational spaces within which the higher education community can come together, engage local communities, and discuss the issues at the forefront of public debate.